U.S. employers could require all workers physically entering a workplace to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the federal government said Friday.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued updated guidance stating that federal laws don’t prevent an employer from requiring workers to be vaccinated.
However, in some circumstances, federal laws may require the employer to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who, because of a disability or a religious belief, aren’t vaccinated. For example, the EEOC said as a reasonable accommodation, an unvaccinated employee entering the workplace might wear a face mask, work at a social distance or be given the opportunity to telework.
The new guidelines also say that federal laws don’t prevent or limit incentives that can be offered to workers to voluntarily take the vaccine. And employers that are administering vaccines to their employees may also offer incentives, as long as the incentives aren’t coercive.
The updated guidance is intended to answer frequently asked questions, EEOC Chairwoman Charlotte Burrows said in a statement. She said the agency will continue to update and clarify its assistance for employers.
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